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A group of visitors viewing a portrait of Marian Anderson

Access Programs

Portrait InSight

Experience the National Portrait Gallery's collection through vivid verbal descriptions and tactile objects. Geared towards visitors who are blind or partially sighted, these 60-minute gallery talks are offered one Thursday and Saturday a month. Topics change monthly. 

Thursday gallery talks are walk-in; Saturday talks require email registration at NPGAccess@si.edu 48 hours in advance.  Meet at the G Street entrance.

Upcoming dates:

  • December 21 and 23, noon
  • January 18 and 20, noon
  • February 15 and 17, noon

Portrait Signs

Explore the National Portrait Gallery's collection with a Deaf gallery educator. Sixty-minute walk-in gallery talks in American Sign Language are offered one Thursday and Saturday a month. Topics change monthly.

Saturday talks are voice-interpreted into English so that all may attend.  Meet at the G Street entrance.

Upcoming dates:

  • November 30, 5:00 pm
  • December 28 at 5:00 pm and December 30 at noon
  • January 25 at 5:00 pm and January 27 at noon
  • February 22 at 5:00 pm and February 24 at noon

See Me at the Portrait Gallery:

A Program for Adults with Dementia and their Care-partners

Experience an interactive and multisensory tour of the museum that is tailored to individuals with dementia and their care partners. Registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Ashley Grady at Access@si.edu or 202–633–2921.

Upcoming dates:

  • December 12, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
  • January 9 and 23, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Mask-Making Workshop

Monday, December 4,  5:00 – 7:30 pm

Active-duty service members and veterans are invited to participate in a program that fosters self-reflection and personal expression. Using the Face of Battle exhibition as a springboard, participants will create their own self-portrait masks. Art Instructor Melissa Walker will guide participants through this unique art activity, loosely adapting her work with service members as featured in a 2015 National Geographic magazine article.

The workshop is free, but registration is required. Please email NPGAccess@si.edu.


Special Request Tours

Tours can be tailored to meet the needs, interests, and abilities of your group.  To make arrangements, contact NPGAccess@si.edu or 202-633-8506.


Student Programs

Student programs at the National Portrait Gallery can accommodate a variety of learners, including students with low vision or blindness, developmental or cognitive disabilities, and those requiring ASL interpretation.  To schedule a program for your class, go to the online registration page and provide as much information as possible in the relevant text boxes.